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How to Travel with Young Children and Infants

How to Travel with Young Children and Infants


As fun as family trips can be, without adequate planning they can grow stressful. Thankfully, we’re here to help with that next big vacation. Consider this article the CliffsNotes edition on family travel. We cover lots of ground, so use each point as a discussion-starter for your family.

Booking Accommodations

Keeping children entertained on a family trip can be challenging. Regardless how exciting the city, kids need mental and physical stimulation all day. Thus, look for accommodations with fun activities: pools, rec rooms and restaurants.

As well, ensure your hotel can comfortably fit the whole family. For example, will two double beds suffice or will your kids resist sharing? If so, you might need to arrange a cot or pull-out bed.

Many hotels run family specials, especially around holiday seasons. If budget-conscious, coordinate your travels around such times. Amenities like continental breakfast can also cut your costs.

How to Travel with Young Children and Infants

Packing Your Bags

Before putting any clothes into your suitcases, gather a few travel documents:

  • Passports—make sure your children have valid passports;
  • Prescriptions—should your children lose their medications, you’ll need to visit a pharmacy;
  • Allergy cards—if your children have allergies, pack a card stating the nature and severity of said allergies. If travelling abroad, make copies of this card in different languages;
  • Consent—if the kids with you are not your own, you will need consent from their guardians to travel.

Regarding clothes, always pack double—not just for the kids, but also yourself. We always imagine children getting dirty, but babies can easily spit up onto you.

Bring backup supplies as well: wipes, bottles, formulas and more. Pack such things yourself, but also allow your kids to bring a backpack with items of their choosing. Letting kids pack their own toys and snacks (in moderation) can be fun. That said, do monitor what goes in; a heavy bag can be a burden to carry.

When checking the contents of your children’s luggage, toss in a camera if you have one to spare. Younger children love to observe and discover. A camera encourages them to do so and it will keep them occupied during the commute.

How to Travel with Young Children and Infants

Driving or Flying

For long commutes, the best thing you can do for your children is to distract them. Books, movies, music and games can pass the time. If possible, schedule lots of rest and bathroom stops. Contrarily, when flying, book flights without stopovers—this can contribute to restlessness.

Besides activities, the most important part of a pain-free trip is comfort. This means loose, breathable clothing and perhaps a pillow. For planes, pack a few ear plugs to help with the ascent and descent, too.

In airports, loose clothing will also help your family pass through security quicker. Nowadays, you might have to remove your shoes and other apparel, which can cause a commotion if your children aren’t dressed appropriately.

How to Travel with Young Children and Infants